Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

No Additional Compensation

                    The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from Article II, Section 1, Clause 7:  [The President] "shall not receive within that Period [term of office] any other Emolument [compensation] from the United States, or any of them."  This clause was included in the Constitution to assure the American people that their President would be prohibited from receiving any additional compensation from any other branch of government.  Our Founders wanted to guarantee as far as possible the preservation of the separation of powers and keep the office of President independent.

                    "A modern problem arose when President Ronald Reagan continued to receive retirement benefits as a retired governor of California while he was in the White House.  He had been receiving benefits since the expiration of his second term in 1975.  In a 1981 opinion, the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel focused on the purpose of the Compensation Clause, which was in its view `to prevent Congress or any of the states from attempting to influence the President through financial rewards or penalties.'  Given that President Reagan's retirement benefits were a vested right under California law rather than a gratuity that the state could withhold, the purpose of the clause would not be furthered by preventing him from receiving them."  (See Robert Delahunty in The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, p. 193.)

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